Editorial: Agreeing to work together

March 9, 2014 

Wake County school board members and county commissioners agreed last week to work together on future school construction efforts.

That’s about the best anyone could have hoped for following the county commissioner’s ill-advised effort to take the responsibility over from the school board.

Under the agreement, both sides will appoint members to a committee that will oversee the massive construction projects. The deal is a win-win for both groups and it’s a wonderful sign that, perhaps, the two bodies are on their way to resolving other differences. Time will tell on that count.

But in the meantime, the arrangement serves several purposes. It gives the school board assurances that the county will not try to muscle its way into assuming control of the entire process as they attempted to do last year with legislation introduced in the General Assembly. School board members need not worry about that kind of pesky problem arising again, taking their attention away from their primary responsibility.

The deal gives county commissioners a couple important things. First of all, it allows the county to have at least some say in the construction of new schools, which is partly what they wanted to begin with. Secondly, the deal allows them to save face after losing one tough battle in the legislature. Now they don’t have to try again to pass a bill that would likely have been as tough a sell the second time around as it was the first.

Of course the biggest winners in the deal are the taxpayers who no longer have to sit on the sideline and watch their two governing bodies engage in a political fight. Now, we trust, they can return to governing, which is why they were all elected in the first place.

We trust that, as the committee begins to do its work there will be a bipartisan effort to provide students with the kinds of facilities they need at a price the taxpayer can afford. If the committee accomplishes that, it will have proven to be the best decision either side could have made.

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